Food to go…

No need to panic when you hear those words, “Do you think you could bring something over?” as these fabulous recipes are great to take to picnics, barbecues or family garden parties

Take one bowl of pasta…

Cook up 350g of fusilli according to packet instructions, drain and allow to cool before adding a variety of ingredients to create a pasta dish to wow at any get-together

Ratatouille pasta

Cut 3 courgettes, 3 peppers and 1 large aubergine into large chunks.

Place in a large roasting tin and drizzle over 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and season well.

Roast at 200°C/R6 for 30 minutes, stir in 4 chopped cloves garlic and roast for a further 20 minutes. Stir into the pasta along with plenty of seasoning and a large handful of torn basil.

Greek pasta salad

Halve 250g cherry tomatoes and add to a large mixing bowl along with 1/2 a roughly chopped cucumber, 100g Kalamata olives, 6 sliced spring onions and 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley.

Add the pasta, combine and crumble over 150g feta cheese. Combine 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, a good pinch of sugar and 1 small crushed garlic clove.

Season well and pour over the salad just before serving.

Take a loaf of bread…

Choose your favourite fresh baked bread – baguette, cob, ciabatta – then load with the following fillings…

Italian picnic loaf

Serves 4

Grill 4 mixed peppers until softened and lightly charred. Allow to cool before deseeding, peeling off any blackened skin and thickly slicing. Set to one side. Drain and pat dry 2 x 125g balls of mozzarella and slice. Take 150g thinly sliced salami and slice in half.

Slice the top off a round crusty country loaf (about 7” in diameter) and remove the bread from inside to leave a shell with a just a little bread all around. Spread thickly with 4 tbsp fresh pesto.

Layer the bread up starting with the salami, then peppers and then the mozzarella, seasoning with black pepper and drizzling with a little olive oil as you go. Spread the lid with more pesto and then place on top. Secure in place with string and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Slice and serve.

Garlic bruschetta with pea and watercress pesto

Serves 4

Toast or griddle 12 thick slices of sourdough bread, cool and then rub with a cut clove of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and pop into a bread basket.

To make the pesto, blanch 200g fresh or frozen peas for 2 minutes, refresh under cold water and drain well. Add to a blender along with 50g roughly chopped watercress, 50g pine nuts, 50g grated Parmesan and 1 crushed garlic clove. Add 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and whizz to a thick, coarse paste. Season well and spoon into a bowl. To serve, spread thickly over the brushcetta and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Take one muffin mix…

Master our basic muffin mixture on page 70 of our July issue, then widen your repertoire with these wonderful variations…

White chocolate and raspberry muffin 

Toss 100g fresh raspberries in 1 tbsp plain flour and then set to one side. Once you have made the muffin mix, add 50g chopped white chocolate and the raspberries. Stir just once or twice and bake as per the recipe.

Blueberry maple muffins

Stir 100g fresh blueberries into the muffin mix, bake as per the recipe and once cooked, prick them all over with a tooth pick and drizzle with 4 tbsp maple syrup.

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